• <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>N.C. Wyeth, <i>The Black Arrow,</i> oil on canvas, for the book by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1916. $150,000 to $250,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Laurent de Brunhoff, mixed media color study for <i>Babar’s World Tour,</i> 2005. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Hilary Knight, <i>Eloise with Valentine,</i> watercolor, ink & pencil, 2015. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Howard Pyle, <i>It was a Comrade from His Own Regiment,</i> oil on canvas, for <i>Harper’s Monthly Magazine,</i> 1909. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Coby Whitmore, <i>‘Poor baby! You want me so much,’ she said,</i> acrylic, for <i>The Saturday Evening Post,</i> 1968. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Al Hirschfeld, <i>Charley’s Aunt,</i> pen & ink, for the Broadway revival, <i>The New York Times,</i> 1940. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b><br>Erté, <i>Décor de Laideronnette,</i> gouache set design for third movement of <i>Mother Goose,</i> 1949. $5,000 to $7,500.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Vince McIndoe, <i>Villainous Last Supper, DC Comics,</i> oil on canvas, 2016. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries July 16:</b> Arthur Getz, <i>Rooftop Party,</i> casein tempera, cover illustration for <i>The New Yorker,</i> 1970. $2,000 to $3,000.
  • <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Sale<br>July 11 & 12, 2020</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Very scarce autograph letter, signed, by Emily Tennessee Donelson, wife of Andrew Jackson Donelson, who served as First Lady / White House Hostess to President Andrew Jackson from 1828 to about 1834. $1,000 to $1,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Thirteen Edward Wells maps plus title page from his rare atlas, A NEW SET OF MAPS BOTH OF ANCIENT AND PRESENT GEOGRAPHY. $600 to $700.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> L.B. Folger and C. Kallenback: MEMPHIS - BIRD'S EYE VIEW - SUPPLEMENT TO THE APPEAL. Scarce lithograph on paper. $800 to $1,200.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Sale<br>July 11 & 12, 2020</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Large NASA-Space Race era archive of material related to Colonel Michael J. Vaccaro, director of administration of the Marshall Space Flight Center of Huntsville, Alabama. $800 to $1,200.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> 1836 slavery related document signed by President Andrew Jackson, Andrew Jackson Jr., and Andrew Jackson Donelson. $800 to $1,100.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Roger Sherman Signed CT Land Grant, 1757. $600 to $700.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Sale<br>July 11 & 12, 2020</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Letter archive related to the Randolph family of Virginia, including Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Lewis Meriwether Randolph – the grandson of President Jefferson. $400 to $500.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Louisiana, as formerly claimed by France, now containing part of British America to the East in Spanish America to the West of Mississippi map, by Thomas Kitchin, 1765. $400 to $450.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Andrew Jackson manuscript document, unsigned, containing notes on several Tennessee legal cases, including one regarding a slave, circa 1790-96. $350 to $450.
    <center><b>Case Antiques<br>Two-Day Summer Sale<br>July 11 & 12, 2020</b>
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> VA Civil War Photo, Alexander Gardner – Timothy O'Sullivan. $400 to $450.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Military Archive, WWI/WWII French Soldier Paul Didier. $400 to $450.
    <b>Case Antiques, Jul. 11 – 12:</b> Early Virginia Map, B. Tanner, J. Reid, 1796. $300 to $400.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online Auction 6-21 July</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Albert Einstein, typed letter signed, explaining the nature of his personal atheism and belief in God. $70,000 to $100,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington. Autograph letter signed to Bryan Fairfax, looking forward to the Treaty of Paris, 5 February 1783. $60,000 to $80,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Alfred Swaine Taylor. Early “photogenic drawing,” photograph of a fern, dated 2 December 1839. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online Auction 6-21 July</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> "Departure of Mr. Lincoln—Parting Address" in the <i>Weekly Illinois State Journal,</i> Vol. XXX, No. 1541, Springfield, February 13, 1861. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Harrison document signed certifying the service of Daniel Cumbo, a black Revolutionary soldier. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Front page printing of the Articles of Confederation in the <i>New-Jersey Gazette,</i> Vol. 1, No. 22. Trenton, April 29, 1778. $4,000 to $6,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online Auction 6-21 July</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> George Washington Funeral Procession Broadside. Boston, January 6, 1800. $5,000 to $7,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Philippe Laroque, printed score for “The Heroe of New Orleans Battle.” Philadelphia, 1815. $3,000 to $5,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Report of the Battle of Queenston Heights, the first major battle in the War of 1812, in <i>Supplement to the Quebec Gazette,</i> 24th October 1812. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Fine Books and Manuscripts<br>Including the Eric C. Caren Collection Part 8<br>Online Auction 6-21 July</b>
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> His Majesty's Most Gracious Speech to both Houses of Parliament, On Tuesday the Eighteenth Day of November, 1760. London, 1760. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Elegy on the Death of James Lawrence, Esq. late Commander of the U.S. Frigate Chesapeake. [Boston]: A. Bowen, 1813. $2,000 to $3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s, Jul. 6 to 21:</b> Benjamin Lincoln's Commission as Major General, signed by John Hancock, 19 February 1777. $30,000 to $50,000.
  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Elizabeth I. Early letter signed, to Edward North, First Baron North 1560. £12,000 to £18,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Catherine II. Empress of Russia Letter signed to Prince Grigori Aleksandrovich [Potemkin] 1784. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Nelson. Autograph letter signed, to Captains of Egyptian Club, 3 August 1798. £12,000 to £18,000,
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>The Collection of a Connoisseur:<br>History in Manuscript<br>Online Auction 8-15 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Charles Darwin. Photograph signed, c.1871 by Oscar Gustave Rejlander. £6,000 to £8,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> T.E. Lawrence. Autograph letter signed, to Major Littleton, 14 October 1918. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Napoleon. Letter signed, ordering General Desaix to sail to Malta, prior to the Egyptian Expedition, 1798. £2,000 to £3,000.

Rare Book Monthly

Articles - October - 2019 Issue

Simon Beattie - “The books you never knew you wanted………..”

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Simon Beattie is an English rare book dealer who founded the popular Facebook group, "We Love Endpapers."

If there is a trend in collecting nowadays, it is that collectors, more and more, are seeking increasingly obscure material, unique items that no one else has.”

This month Rare Book Hub corresponded with Simon Beattie, 44, an antiquarian specialist based in Chesham, Buckinghamshire in South East England which borders Greater London. Beattie bills himself as a specialist in “the books you never knew you wanted.”

His website displays his talents as a bookseller, translator and composer. It states that after almost a dozen years in the London book trade, he set up on his own in 2010, and two years later was included among the winners of the Smarta 100 Awards for ‘the most resourceful, original, exciting small businesses in the UK’. He is the founder of the popular Facebook public group “We Love Endpapers,which now has over 4,000 members.

Because of the time difference between Hawaii and England RBH conducted this interview via email:

RBH: Can you tell us a little about your career in bookselling?

SB: I began my career as a bookseller straight out of university, in 1998, when I got a job working for Bernard Quaritch Ltd. in London. I set up as an independent bookseller in 2010, so next year will be my 10th anniversary. Having studied modern languages at university, my main interest is European (cross-)cultural material. Another interest is music, as I have sung in choirs since I was eight years old; I now also write choral music. I think the only hobby I have been doing for longer than singing is reading.

I became involved with the world of rare books just as the Internet was starting to have an effect. It’s a wonderful tool, and a rich source of information when doing research. Though I tend to agree with the late Bill Reese’s remark, made in 2009, that ‘in the age of the Internet one has to have the best, the cheapest, or the only copy.’

Although I enjoy the benefits the Internet has brought, I sell almost nothing online. Most of our sales are to people on our mailing list, either by catalogue, or at book fairs. I have no interest in having thousands of books in stock and engaging in faceless, impersonal transactions with people I don’t know. I’m a bespoke bookseller. I enjoy getting to know people, understanding their interests, and then finding books for them.

Although we list our books on third-party websites (such as ABE), I don’t like the lack of control you have over how the books are presented. While social media can be a great tool in developing relationships with customers and colleagues, in a friendly, visual way, right across the globe, I still come back to the traditional catalogue, whether printed or electronic for selling.

We’ve just had a new website built (www.simonbeattie.co.uk); there are no books to browse, and no search facility. What you can do, however, is sign up for our e-lists. That way, you get first notice of new stock, and we have control how the books are presented, in catalogue format.

RBH: Though the Internet is set up for finding books you know you want, Beattie makes much of “finding the books you didn’t know you wanted.”

SB: We have a word, of course, for these chance encounters when looking for books: serendipity. A word which was, incidentally, coined by a collector (Horace Walpole, in 1754). It’s something that humans, by their nature, enjoy; serendipity was voted the UK’s favourite word in the year 2000, and Peter Howard gave his legendary Berkeley bookstore the very same name.

People like browsing. So it’s an irony that we use the word ‘browse’ when looking online. For if you’re searching for books to buy, that is exactly what you cannot do. Book-buying on the Internet requires the buyer to know what it is she is looking for; databases are weak at allowing discovery.

Beattie quoted Mark Forsyth in “The Unknown Unknown: Bookshops and the Delight of not getting what you wanted:”

The Internet is a splendid invention, and it won’t go away. If you know you want something, the Internet can get it for you. My point … is that it’s not enough to get what you already know you wanted. The best things are the things you never knew you wanted until you got them. The Internet takes your desires and spits them back out at you, consummated. You search, you put in the words you know, the things that were already on your mind, and it gives you back a book or a picture or a Wikipedia article. But that is all. The unknown unknown must be found otherwhere.’

When I set up my business ten years ago this was certainly what I had in view. I’ve always enjoyed what you might call footnotes to history. I wanted to offer people things they’d never seen before, quirky stuff, ‘the books you never knew you wanted’.

If there is a trend in collecting nowadays, it is that collectors, more and more, are seeking increasingly obscure material, unique items that no one else has.

RBH: Beattie is well known in the trade as the founder of a popular Facebook public groupWe love Endpapers.” (www.facebook.com/groups/WeLoveEndpapers/RBH sees something interesting on that page almost every day. What gave you the idea? and does it surprise you how rapidly it's grown and the amount of interesting art that it generated?

SB: My only motive, if it was a motive, for starting the group was that I know various people in the rare book world who say ‘those are nice endpapers’, or ‘look at these’ at a book fair or when visiting a bookshop. I thought a Facebook group would be a good forum for people to share pictures of attractive endpapers as and when they come across them. Initially, I intended it to be just for bookseller and librarian friends of mine, but soon opened it up to anyone who may be interested. It’s been fascinating, and was even featured on The Guardian website earlier this year.

Yes, I have been amazed at the response. The group’s just over three years old and we have well over 4,000 members. It may just be eye-candy to some, but it can be educational, too. You can learn about marbling techniques, or how particular kinds of paper were made. Whatever the reason people join, I’m glad they enjoy it. Any book can be posted, regardless of date, and it’s been interesting to see the number of new books featured. Modern publishers have really upped their game when it comes to book design.

RBH: Do you have any thoughts about the UK vs the US book scene? Are there any fairs or annual events you like?

SB: I enjoy coming to the US, and seeing friends, customers, and colleagues there. I don’t have an open shop and exhibiting at a book fair gives me an opportunity to showcase what I have.

Pop-up shops’ are sometimes heralded as the new thing; book fairs have been doing it for centuries. There used to be a rhythm in the international fair calendar, with roughly one a month: Stuttgart, California, Milan, New York, Paris, London. More recently, the fairs have all begun to edge earlier and earlier, so that the year is now somewhat top-heavy.

The proximity of the California and New York fairs, now only a month apart, in the past few years has proved particularly challenging in terms of finding new stock, overall logistics and, put bluntly, cashflow.

For 2020, I have decided, sadly, to give Pasadena a miss so that we can focus on New York, which has always been a highlight. Another difficulty in recent years has been exchange rates, at least for buying. I suppose I’m fairly sanguine about it. Perhaps my margins can’t be what they were a few years ago, but it offers US customers a good deal. Now more than ever is the time to buy British!

RBH: Do you have any current enthusiasms to share?

SB:I follow the various British Library blogs; Medieval Manuscripts, European Studies, and Untold Lives are particularly good. (www.bl.uk/blogs/) In print, I still look forward to The Book Collector (www.thebookcollector.co.uk/) and the Deutsches Literaturarchiv’s Marbacher Magazine, (in German) and have been enjoying the recent series on independent historic libraries in The London Library Magazine. (www.londonlibrary.co.uk/about-us/magazine)

The Women in the Book Trade initiatives, on both sides of the Atlantic, go from strength to strength, and the series of interviews on the Fine Books & Collections website, with young librarians and booksellers, help highlight ongoing vitality in the rare book world. (www.finebooksmagazine.com)

RBH: Anything else you like to comment on?

SB: Going back to what I said earlier, looking for books online can be hard work. You can sift through a lot of dross to find a nugget worth having. I find I return again and again to booksellers I like, people with a good eye for books, and whom I trust. I appreciate things that are well described, with no nasty surprises when they arrive. Sometimes one has to pay a little more, for better material, but I’m happy with that.

Links

We Love Endpapers public group on Facebook www.facebook.com/groups/WeLoveEndpapers/

Simon Beattie website: www.simonbeattie.co.uk

Links to Simon Beattie elists at: simonbeattie.co.uk/bookseller/



Simon Beattie

84 The Broadway

Chesham, Buckinghamshire HP5 1EG

United Kingdom

simon@simonbeattie.co.uk

Office number: +44 (0)1494 784954.

Office and hours: Beattie has an office in Chesham, and it is generally staffed Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, though it’s probably best to make an appointment.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts<br>Online Auction 7-14 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Isaac Newton. <i>Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica.</i> £280,000 to £350,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Johann Sebastian Bach. Two early editions: Fantaisie pour le Clavecin. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Mozart. Early edition, in parts, of the Concerto in A for piano and orchestra. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <center><b>Sotheby’s<br>Music, Continental Books and Medieval Manuscripts<br>Online Auction 7-14 July
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Beethoven. First edition, second issue of the Ninth Symphony op.125. £1,000 to £1,500.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Cervantes. <i>Don Quixote,</i> Barcelona, 1617. £2,000 to £3,000.
    <b>Sotheby’s:</b> Johann Sebastian Bach. Three first and early editions of music for organ. £1,200 to £1,500.
  • <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> O'Fihely, Maurice Abp. <i>Questiones subtilissme Scoti in metaphysicam Aristotelis</i>, Venice (Octavianus Scoti) 20th November 1497. 8,000 to 12,000 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Pococke (Richard). <i>A Description of the East and some other Countries,</i> 3 vols. in 2, L. (W. Bowyer) 1743. 2,250 to 3,500 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Keogh (John). <i>Botanalogia Universalis Hibernica, or A General Irish Herbal Calculated for this Kingdom, giving an account of the Herbs, Scrubs…</i>, Corke (George Harrison) 1735. 1,000 to 1,500 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Perry (Charles). <i>A View of the Levant particularly of Constantinople, Syria, Egypt and Greece,</i> L. (T. Woodward) 1743. 800 to 1,200 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Shaw (Thomas). <i>Travels, or Observations Relating to Several Parts of Barbary and the Levant,</i>, Oxford (The Theatre) 1738. 600 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (Nicholas) Bishop of Ferns] Attributed, <i>Recit Exact et Fidele de la Vente et Partage du Roiaume d'Irlande Fait Sous Charles II…,</i> Milan (Chez Charles Joseph Quinto) 1724. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> [French (V. Rev.Dr. Nicholas, Bp of Ferns.)] <i>The Unkinde Desertor of Loyall Men and True Frinds,</i> 12mo, n.p. 1676. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Yeats (W.B.) <i>Plays and Controversies,</i>, N.Y. (The MacMillan Company) 1924, Signed Limited Edn. 500 to 700 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Barrie (J.M.) & Thomson (Hugh) illus. <i>Quality Street, a Comedy in Four Acts,</i> L. (Hodder and Stoughton) 1901, Limited Edition, signed by the artist. 500 to 700 €
    <center><b>Fonsie Mealy Auctioneers<br>The Collectors’ Sale<br>July 7 – 15, 2020</b>
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Molyneaux (William). <i>The Case of Ireland's being bound by Acts of Parliament in England Stated,</i> [London 1719]. 200 to 300 €
    <b>Fonsie Mealy, Jul. 7 – 15:</b> Johnston's (W. & A.) Map of South Africa, to illustrate the Military Operations 1900. 100 to 150 €
  • <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ptolomaeus (Claudius). <i>Cosmographia,</i> first edition, Vicenza, Hermann Liechtenstein, 13 September 1475. £150,000 to £200,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Schoener (Johann). <i>Opera mathematica,</i> 3 parts in 1, first edition,The Honeyman copy in contemporary binding, Nuremberg, J. Montanus and U. Neuber, 1551. £30,000 to £40,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Lucian of Samosata. <i>Dialogoi, editio princeps,</i> with fine illuminated title-page, Florence, Lorenzo de Alopa, 1496. £20,000 to £30,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Pian (Jean Baptiste de). [Architectural Alphabet], 26 chromolithographs by Leopold Muller after Pian, Vienna, 1842-44. £15,000 to £20,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Rogers (Bruce).- Holy Bible (The)..., one of 200 copies on handmade paper, designed by Bruce Rogers, bound in modern crimson morocco, gilt, Oxford, 1935. £10,000 to £15,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Jenner (Edward). <i>An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the Variolae Vaccinae…,</i> first edition, Printed for the Author, by Sampson Low, 1798. £8,000 to £12,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Voyages.- Cook (Capt. James).- Parkinson (Sydney). <i>A Journal of a Voyage to the South Seas, in his Majesty's Ship the Endeavour,</i> second edition, Charles Dilly...& James Phillips, 1784. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Clemens (Samuel Langhorne)] "Mark Twain". <i>Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,</i> first edition, first state, New York, Charles L. Webster and Company, 1885. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> [Voight (Hans Henning)], "Alastair". Herod, for 'Salome: Drame en un Acte', original drawing in red & black ink over pencil, [c.1922]. £4,000 to £6,000.
    <center><b>Forum Auctions<br>Fine Books, Manuscripts<br>and Works on Paper<br>July 16, 2020</b>
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> James (M.R.) <i>Ghost Stories of an Antiquary,</i> first edition, signed presentation inscription from the author to A.C. Benson, 1904. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Remarque (Erich Maria). <i>All Quiet on the Western Front,</i> first English edition, signed presentation inscription from the author, 1929. £3,000 to £4,000.
    <b>Forum Auctions, July 16:</b> Ashendene Press.- More (Sir Thomas). <i>A Fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke...Utopia,</i> one of 100 copies, bound in black goatskin by J.Franklin Mowery, Ashendene Press, 1906. £3,000 to £4,000.

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